Planet Princeton

No Settlement Reached: Planet Princeton Public Records Case on Policing Will Go to Court

Lawyers for Planet Princeton and Princeton University have been seeking to work out a settlement in a court case regarding public records related to a policing agreement between the town of Princeton and Princeton University. The settlement discussions have ended, and Planet Princeton intends to seek a ruling from a judge on all the remaining issues in the case.

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for July 6. Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson is the judge in the case and hears all Open Public Records Act cases in the county.

Earlier this year, Planet Princeton filed a public records request seeking all policing agreements between the town’s police department and the university’s public safety department. The agreements cover who has jurisdiction over what geographical areas and what kinds of crimes on Princeton University property. The town denied the request altogether. A lawyer for the town said the request was denied after consulting with the university and the Mercer County Prosecutor.

After Planet Princeton filed a lawsuit objecting to the records denial in Mercer County Superior Court, the town reversed its position and released four agreements — three versions of an agreement between the school and the town regarding police jurisdiction and a fourth agreement regarding the handling of sexual assaults.

Princeton University objected to the release of maps and a chart that were attached to the agreements. Those documents were not released with the agreements.

The town is no longer part of the lawsuit, but the university has become a party in the lawsuit. Since then, Planet Princeton’s lawyer, Walter Luers, and Princeton University’s lawyer, James Lidon, had been seeking to negotiate a settlement. As part of those negotiations, the school released a redacted chart listing the types of service calls and criminal incidents that are part of the agreement.

Mercer County Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson had adjournment in the case while lawyers for Planet Princeton and the university seek to reach a compromise in the case.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

3 comments

  • Her honor, Mary Jacobson, is an excellent judge. As good as the best federal judges. They don’t come any better. You will get a fair result from her court.

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